“During this past weekend’s showing of THE ROOM, some jackass threw a metal spoon at our screen and punctured a hole in it,” wrote Robert Brunet on the venerable Uptown single-screen’s Facebook page. “Our screen is a special silver screen designed for our Digital Projector to give an optimum image. If anyone has knowledge of who did this, I will give them a lifetime pass to the theatre.” For some insight into a possible motive, see an explanation at the NOLA Defender website.
The 14th Annual New Orleans French Film Festival begins tonight at the Prytania Theatre with a 7:30 p.m. showing of “Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life,” equal parts biography of the singer Serge Gainsbourg and “a quintessential time capsule to ‘60’s Paris.” Sponsored by the New Orleans Film Society and NOLA Francaise, the festival will screen eight French films — a selection of current comedies, thrillers, dramas and the latest work by legendary director Jean-Luc Godard — as well as the Hollywood classic “An American in Paris” through Thursday. For schedule and showtimes, see the Prytania Theatre, and for descriptions of each film, see the New Orleans Film Society.
Movie lovers unite! Your season is upon you! With school almost out for everyone, summer movie mania is about to set in. And each year it’s whiz bang this and ginormous budget that. This season’s crop promises no exception.
Rene Brunet, the 89-year-old owner of the Prytania Theatre and its gracious doorman, describes growing up in the theater side of the movie business, his hobby of playing the organ, and the Prytania’s place in the world today, in a wide-ranging interview with the website NOLA Defender.
With today’s announcement of this year’s Academy Awards nominees, the Prytania Theatre made an announcement of its own: between now and March 3, the Uptown cinema will be hosting a full slate of Oscar contenders. The “Best Picture Series” is already underway with showings of The King’s Speech, which led the field with 12 nominations. Through the next several weeks, the Black Swan, Oscar-nominated short films, “True Grit” and “The Fighter” will all be shown, the cinema announced.
Screenings of nearly 30 different films in the New Orleans Film Festival will dominate the schedule at the Prytania Theatre from Friday to the following Thursday.The schedule, available at the Prytania’s website, includes the sole showings of some of the festival’s highest-profile features: The Black Swan (by The Wrestler director Darren Aronofsky, starring Natalie Portman), 127 Hours (by Trainspotting’s Danny Boyle, starring James Franco) and festival opener Welcome to the Rileys (by music-video director Jake Scott, starring James Gandolfini of The Sopranos and Kristin Stewart of The Twilight Saga). In addition to an assortment of other features, foreign films and classics, the Prytania will also feature a number of documentaries with specific New Orleans interest, such as Bury the Hatchet (about Mardi Gras Indians), Race (about Mayor Ray Nagin’s re-election), Canal Street Madam, a showing of Harry Shearer’s The Big Uneasy and pieces on authors John Kennedy O’Toole and Walker Percy. The New Orleans Film Festival takes place at a number of other venues around the city, including The Theatres at Canal Place and Contemporary Arts Center. (See the complete schedule.)
“Nothing is more moving to me than hearing the reaction of the people of New Orleans, the city I adopted, the city that adopted me,” Harry Shearer told an enthusiastic audience at the Prytania Theatre. “But [‘The Big Uneasy’] wasn’t made for us. It was made for the rest of the country.”